Dean Richards believes yesterday’s triumph at Bristol is the perfect platform for his charges to kick-on in the RFU Championship.
The new boss watched on from the stands with head coach Peter Russell and forwards coach John Wells as the Falcons recorded a bonus point 37-20 victory at the Memorial Stadium.
Despite admitting there is a lot to work on in the build up to next weekend’s trip to London Scottish, Richards insists it was crucial to get off to a winning start.
“There were some good things but also some bad things that we need to work on and the players know that, but the most important thing was to get the win,” Richards told the gathering media.
“The players are frustrated with certain aspects of the game but I’m quite happy with the performance and there is a lot more to come from us,” he added.
A Luke Fielden double coupled with tries from Tane Tu’ipulotu and Ally Hogg secured a five-point triumph for the northeasterners. And with Bristol many people’s tip for a promotion push, it was always going to be a battle for the Kingston Park outfit.
Richards said: “We knew they would be very competitive but it is pleasing to get the five-point win to start our season.
“It is what we aimed for but at the same time if you ask any of the players about the performance today, they will admit that they have a lot more to give.
“We didn’t play as a collective unit as what we really wanted to throughout the whole game and we picked some wrong options here and there which put us under unnecessary pressure.
“At the same time we still came away with what we came here before.”
The former Harlequins and Leicester chief was keen to pay tribute to Bristol who made it a difficult contest for his side.
Acknowledging that there was no stand-out performer in his ranks, Richards said: “I don’t think there was a stand-out performer or a guy that played badly on the day but we didn’t perform to the level that we perhaps wanted to and what we set our goals to.
“We are taking away some of the credit from Bristol who were very competitive on the day – we knew they would be and they caused us a few problems.”
Following this weekend’s duel with Scottish, the Falcons host Doncaster Knights in their first home game of the Championship season.
Tickets are still available for the game by calling the Falcons Ticket Hotline on 0871 226 6060 or click here to purchase online.